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Social Responsibility in South Africa

6 March, 2017
Suzanne Edmunds CEO

Suzanne Edmunds CEO

I have recently come back from a holiday outside South Africa where I had some interesting discussions with ex-South Africans, who are in my opinion always ready to attack and criticise our lives here in order to defend their decision to emigrate. You all know what I mean ! Whenever I come across this it is my pleasure to highlight the good stuff that is happening here at home.
One of the areas I like to talk about is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSI)scene.
Are South African corporates generous or are they guided by the brilliant DTI score card to which we report ? It doesn’t really matter, the point is that Corporates have responded so well to this imperative that today we have hundreds of Corporates feeding into a multi billion rand sector – the support of the vulnerable in our society. Support for education, where Project Build operates, alone is reputed to be R2billion.
As the person at Project Build who is responsible for income development it is a constant joy for me to sit down with the people who make up this sector. Whether is it with the professionals who man the CSI departments of the large organizations or simply people who care who might be running an NGO or a member of a service organization like Rotary International I have such respect for the work done.
Just this week I have had three memorable meetings with such people who are looking to collaborate with Project Build. One meeting was about upgrades to a school, another was an upgrade to a transitional house for students. The third was quite different, it concerned creating an environment with the Department of Education for Women’s empowerment. At each meeting the passion and caring for others was the motivating factor. These are not isolated meetings, but meetings I regularly have with people in the CSI sector. It makes me feel so Proudly South African .
I cannot finish this blog without highlighting the role of the DTI Scorecard. The Government has got this so right. Companies who need to trade with the government or trade with companies who trade with the government need to meet the requirements of the scorecard. A large professional industry has grown around this, all to the benefit of the society in which we live.
I love to watch the expression on the faces of my expat friends when I show them the details and success of this CSI sector.

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